Gruesome basketball injury a 'freak accident,' doc says
Darron Cummings / AP
Louisville head coach Rick Pitino and trainers tend to injured guard Kevin Ware during the first half of the Midwest Regional final in the NCAA college basketball tournament against Duke, on March 31, 2013, in Indianapolis. Ware badly injured his lower right leg and had to be taken off the court on a stretcher.
The gruesome break that shattered Louisville Cardinals guard Kevin Ware’s right lower leg during Sunday’s Elite Eight playoff game was a “freak accident” rare outside of car accidents or other high-velocity trauma, a sports medicine expert said.
The 20-year-old sophomore from the Bronx apparently landed awkwardly in the heat of the NCAA Midwest Final game against the Duke Blue Devils, perhaps exacerbating an undetected stress fracture, said Dr. Frederick Azar, a vice president and spokesman for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and chief of staff at Campbell Clinic in Germantown, Tenn., who consults for the Memphis Grizzlies NBA basketball team.
Published on Mar 31, 2013Sophomore guard Kevin Ware suffered one of the most gruesome we have ever seen in the sport of basketball. In the first half Ware contested a shot from Duke's Tyler Thornton. CBS cameras showed how he landed awkwardly on his right leg, which we later learned was broken. **WARNING: VERY, VERY GRAPHIC.**
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Kevin Ware Leg Broken | Worst Basketball Injury Ever | Louisville Versus Duke | 2013 March Madness
Published on Mar 31, 2013
Kevin Ware's horrific leg injury during Louisville's (1) game versus Duke (2) of the 2013 NCAA Tournament Elite Eight Regional Final.
This is the worst injury I've ever seen in any sport much less college basketball. Louisville's Kevin Ware (#5) lands and rolls awkwardly on his right foot and leg which procedes to crumble underneath him as he falls to the floor. Siva, Blackshear, and Behanan all crumble to the floor at the sight of Ware's injury, visibly shaken and emotionally distraught.
He was medically assessed on the court and take to the hospital for surgery. Coach Rick Pitino stated that Ware had broken his leg in 2 places, "the same injury that Michael Bush had" and should make a full recovery in a year's time.
Still, that means Ware will be out for the rest of the tournament this year that has brought top seeded lousville to their 2nd consecutive Final Four appearance. Many say the Cards are due the coveted NCAA tournament title that was swatted away by last year's champion, UK, in a epic game between the life-long rivals in the Final Four.
Louisville turned the tight scoring game around to finish with a 22 point lead over the Blue Devils. During an interview after the game, Pitino said they won the game for Ware. It definitely seemed to bring many members of the Cardnials team alive especially Peyton Siva who started sinking almost every shot he put up.
This year Louisville will face the suprise candidate from the West region, Witchita St in the Final Four match up to see who will take the spot in the championship game. Witchita St has ponied up so far during the tourney shocking Gonzanga (1) in the second round.
Will it be enough to drop another #1 seeded team during March Madness? Not with the way Louisville is playing. After destroying a strong Duke team tonight, it seems like no NCAA team can stop their run. The Cardnials are on an 11 game winning streak.
“He may have just landed funny and torqued his tibia,” said Azar, who was watching the game. “It was a freak accident.”
Such injuries, don’t often happen at the low velocity of even high-level basketball, which raises the possibility that Ware had a preexisting stress fracture, Azar said.
The bone in Ware’s lower right leg apparently broke in two places and could be seen sticking out through Ware’s skin, observers said.
“To actually see it happen like that is rare,” Azar said. “A bone sticking out of the skin is really, really unusual.”
The injury, which occurred with 6:33 minutes left in the first half of the game, sent 6-foot-2 Ware to floor, stunned his teammates into sickened sobs and silenced the crowd at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
The Cardinals went on to win the game 85-63.
Known as a compound fracture or open fracture, the injury occurs when the bone protrudes through the skin, Azar said. Doctors likely washed out the injury to prevent infection and then quickly performed surgery to place a titanium or stainless steel rod in Ware’s leg.
“They’ll get him up and get him going by tomorrow,” Azar said. “You would hope he gets fixed tonight.”
Cardinals coach Rick Pitino told reporters that Ware would be out of commission for a year, but Azar said that if surgery went well and there were no nerve complications or infections, the young, healthy player could be back on the court in time for next season, or within six months.
“That’s the good news: We have the technology to fix this,” said Azar.